Updated Malawi Cabinet sworn in

02 February 2022

On the 24th January the President of Malawi dissolved his entire Cabinet in response to allegations of corruption in a leaked conversation with the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Ms. Martha Chizuma.

The President said:

“in exercise of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, I have dissolved my entire Cabinet effective immediately, and all the functions of Cabinet revert to my office until I announce a reconfigured Cabinet in two days.”

The President made clear that the new Cabinet would exclude the current Minister of Lands, to allow him to answer the corruption charges he is facing in court, emphasising this was the same immediate action he had taken against two previous Ministers.

On the 27th January, the President announced his full new Cabinet.

The Scotland Malawi Partnership welcomes all new and returning Cabinet Members to their positions and we stand with Malawi in its fight against corruption. We have written to President Chakwera, an ex officio co-Patron of the SMP, to express this support and to highlight our work with leading Malawian academics looking at governance strengthening.

We especially welcome four strong friends of the Scotland-Malawi relationship returning to Cabinet:

  • Hon. Vera Kamtukule: Promoted to Minister of Labour. Hon Kamtukule was the former CEO of our sister network, the Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP).
  • Hon. Agnes Nyalonje: Continuing as Minister of Education. Former MaSP Board member, who herself lived and worked in Edinburgh for many years, has spoken at SMP events and attended our COP26 Homecoming event.
  • Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka and Hon. Nancy Tembo: Who have essentially swapped roles, with Hon Mkaka becoming Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change and Hon Tembo becoming Foreign Affairs Minister. Both Ministers visited Scotland during COP26 and attended our Homecoming event, with the SMP also taking Hon. Mkaka around the new David Livingstone Birthplace Centre.

President Chakwera named the Finance Minister as Hon. Sosten Gwengwe, the former Trade Minister, who will head up a new combined ministry that also includes economic affairs. That portfolio was previously included in the Vice President’s portfolio.

The announcement of nine more ministers and eight deputy ministers was made in a statement from the presidency sent by WhatsApp and takes the total size of the new cabinet to 29. The only members of the old executive that who did not get reappointed are former Finance Minister Felix Mlusu, former Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama and former Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa.

New cabinet sworn in

On Sunday 29th January, Chakwera presided over the swearing in of newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, saying:

“I expect my Cabinet to work together. Many of Malawi’s problems are multi-sectoral and require inter-ministerial collaboration. Therefore, no minister within my administration shall work in silos or alone,” Said chakwera.

The President told the new ministers that he has called them to help him govern Malawians with hard work through the ministerial positions they have now occupied.

“There is no excuse for sloth, laziness, and procrastination. You must attend to your duties. You must fulfil your responsibilities. You must do your job,” Chakwera emphasized.

Chakwera then stressed the need for ministers to work ethically by avoiding corruption at all cost and no under any circumstances or for any personal glory, violate the oath of office and related oath of secrecy they have taken.

“Do not bully or push state institutions to pay or award a contractor from whom you stand to benefit and with whom you have business interests or shares. That is corruption,” he said.

The Malawian leader warned the ministers that the law will take its course if any of them is found guilty of any charges of corruption and never will the president at any point use his office to save them from their mistakes.